The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), may no longer be taken seriously by Nigerians given how clear it has become that the organization is being used as a tool against the Kogi State government.
Recall that the commission had previously accused the state of diverting bailout cash totaling about N20 billion that it said the government had deposited in a specific Sterling Bank account.
On August 31, 2021, Tijani Ringim of the Lagos High Court froze the Kogi state account held by the bank after the EFCC submitted an ex parte motion.
The commission claimed that the funds, which were intended for the state’s salary payments, were instead stored in a high-interest account known as the “Kogi State Salary Bailout Account.”
At the resumption of proceedings on Friday, October 15, last year, Kemi Pinheiro, counsel to the EFCC, moved an application dated October 13, seeking discontinuance of the matter.
The application titled ‘Notice of discontinuance’ stated that “the applicant, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission resolved to discontinue this matter in SUIT NO: FHC/L/CS/1086/2021 pending before this Honorable Court against the Respondent’s Account herein”.
Some Nigerians questioned the state’s integrity while the EFCC put the government on that media trial. The bank defended the State government with the support of an oath.
After the news of the EFCC pulling out broke out, many Nigerians realized that the accusations were all untrue and made up.
But as a group determined to damage the reputation of Yahaya Bello’s administration, the EFCC recently made another allegation linking it to the governor, leaving Kogites and, in fact, the entire population of Nigeria wondering how a leader who has built one of the best hospitals in Africa and other top-tier institutions could divert funds for personal gain.
Nigerians have begun defending the Kogi State government in response to the latest allegation that N10 billion was improperly taken from the government coffers, claiming that the EFCC is simply out to get the governor. They want to know why the EFCC withdrew its earlier accusations against the government and assert that the new accusation is also untrue, just like the earlier ones.
Recall, Kogi State in North Central Nigeria took home three World Bank Awards of Excellence in November. The categories are domestic revenue mobilization, debt sustainability, and fiscal transparency and accountability. Everyone is now left to wonder if the EFCC can perform financial management verification with greater sophistication than the World Bank.